Most of our teenage students now have mobile phones and enjoy sending text messages to each other. This activity introduces them to some English text messages that they could start to use with their friends.

Jo Budden


Photocopy the text messages and their real English translations. You can the either hand these out as a worksheet or cut them up into strips for students to match.


Ask your students how they send texts and to teach you a few tricks for messaging in their language. Then tell them that in English there are lots of ways to send short texts.

  • Give out the cut up the strips or matching exercise to each group of 3 or 4 students.
  • Ask them to read the messages and to match them with their real English equivalent.
  • Tell them the answers and ask them if they have any equivalents in their L1.

Text lingo

How’s your English text lingo? Match the text message on the left with its ‘translation’ in real English on the right.

Text Translation
1) C U L8R M8 a) As far as I know
2) B4 b) Love you with all my heart
3) AFAIK c) Boring
4) W8 4 ME, I’M L8, SOZ d) Text me back
5) KIT e) Have a nice day
6) RUOK? f) See you later mate
7) LUWAMH g) Keep in touch
8) HAND h) Easy
9) Zzzzzzzzz i) Are you okay?
10) KOTL j) Wait for me, I’m late, sorry
11) TMB k) See you tonight or tomorrow
12) 0 ME l) By the way
13) EZ m) Before
14) BTW n) Ring me
15) C U 2NITE O 2MORO o) Kiss on the lips

Answers: 1 – f, 2 – m, 3 – a, 4 – j, 5 – g, 6 – i, 7 – b, 8 – e, 9-c, 10 – o, 11 – d, 12 – n. 13 – h, 14 – l, 15 - k

Language level
Language Level: 
Pre-intermediate: A2

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